Meeting in San Diego and the Year of Freedom of Expression
# Program with ASNE and the Institute of the Americas in April
Dear members and friends of the IAPA:
2011, proclaimed the Year of Free Expression, will make IAPA history …and it all begins with the activities that kick off the celebration.
The 2011 Midyear Meeting will be held from April 6 - 9 at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina and, for the first time in the IAPA’s long history, one of our primary meetings will be held in conjunction with a peer organization, ASNE, the American Society of News Editors.
On the 4th and 5th, just before the Midyear Meeting, the two organizations will join the University of California’s Institute of the Americas, located in La Jolla, near San Diego, for the Conference on Freedom of Expression in Latin America.
The meetings will serve as centerpieces for this landmark year that is dedicated to creating awareness throughout the region of the importance of fighting for freedom of expression, an initiative by IAPA president Gonzalo Marroquín, editor of Prensa Libre, Guatemala, who has adopted this cause as the symbol of his presidency.
The timing is critical. Freedom of expression in the Americas is experiencing one of its most difficult moments. More and more intolerant and authoritarian governments don’t accept criticism or opposing views, while organized crime attempts to silence society’s voice. Freedom’s enemies want to monopolize or suppress this fundamental right.
The violence and crimes against journalists in Mexico and Honduras spread with alarming numbers into other countries --- Colombia, Brazil and Guatemala. This affliction has sounded every alarm and the IAPA is in full campaign to halt the elimination of the messenger that results in terrible fear-induced self-censorship and an uninformed society. That’s not all: there are restrictive laws against the press in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina and Nicaragua; persecution of journalists and the media; attacks on the credibility of the press and the manipulation of government advertising, among others. We have had enough and are forced to take a more proactive approach to raise awareness within the hemisphere’s societies that they must defend this human right, central to all people.
The battle will not be won if the IAPA is unable to increase the impact of its work and promote its cause among new community sectors.
For this reason, the plan of action that will be considered in San Diego is designed to intensify the work of the organization’s three central committees - Freedom of the Press, Impunity and Chapultepec – so that they work together in a common approach.
Meeting with ASNE
The Midyear Meeting is scheduled from April 6th to 9th. Enclosed please find registration and hotel reservation forms. The deadline to book is March 4th. Please send your registration form to IAPA headquarters and your hotel reservation to the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina. As this is a joint meeting, we have booked a very conservative number of rooms, with excellent prices, and it is not possible to guarantee hotel reservations until the registration process is completed, including deposits and payment of registration. As usual, we are offering a special discount to U.S. delegates that is also extended to Mexican publishers and editors who attend the first time.
The program that is under development will be varied and will include separate and joint sessions with ASNE. Wednesday, April 6, will be devoted to seminars and a series of IAPA / ASNE workshops; on Thursday, April 7th, while ASNE hold its general sessions IAPA delegates will hold their traditional meeting of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information. Both groups will join for a luncheon with a VIP guest. On Friday, April 8th, joint panels will represent both institutions followed by the official opening ceremony and a lunch for both newspaper groups. On Saturday the 9th, as is customary in the IAPA, we will adopt the freedom of the press reports, conclusions and resolutions, and review future sites. A closing luncheon is scheduled.
Conference at the Institute of the Americas
The Institute will host a conference on Freedom of Expression to be held on Monday and Tuesday, April 4th and 5th. Delegates who attend the Midyear Meeting should indicate that they will attend this activity to receive the program and event details. The Institute is located in the city of La Jolla within the University of California at San Diego and is a recognized leader of cooperation between the U.S., Canada and Latin America. The Institute is led by former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Venezuela, Jeffrey Davidow, who is in charge of opening the conference along with the presidents of the IAPA and ASNE. Several global press organizations and academic experts will be invited to this symposium which will also welcome delegates attending the IAPA / ASNE meeting. The lectures will be led by experts on freedom of expression and civic leaders. Delegates will stay at the hotel and there will be transportation to the Institute headquarters.
IAPA Press Institute seminars will focus on new opportunities for marketing digital products and digital advertising. Several major newspapers, such as The New York Times, are preparing to insert paywalls, making this a good time to continue discussions regarding the most appropriate payment models in the Internet age. Taking into account the anticipated growth in tablet sales, such as the iPad, and plans by Rupert Murdoch and the News Corporation to launch an electronic newspaper exclusively for the iPad, the growth of this important segment will be considered as well as that of other mobile devices.
Social and cultural activities
Everyone who attended the recent General Assembly in Merida, Mexico, heard the enthusiastic words of Milton Coleman,The Washington Post, ASNE president and IAPA’s first vice president , as he outlined the major activities planned in San Diego. All are still in the preparation phase and they are expected to be a major highlight of this joint meeting.
Among several events that are being considered is a tour and reception aboard the famous aircraft carrier USS Midway which, in 2004, become a floating museum with more than 60 exhibits and a collection of 25 restored military aircraft, together with a tour of its control tower, runways, etc. Among the planes that you will see are models that were used in World War II as well as others that were in operations Desert Storm, the Korean War and Vietnam.
For golf lovers there is a pleasant surprise: a tournament set in picturesque Torrey Pines, located on the shores of the Pacific. Included is a visit to the Callaway golf shops that will offer gifts such as a special class on their Carlsbad course.
Also in the planning stage is an activity dedicated to the ladies. Together with local sponsors, a special reception will honor women who have made significant achievements in their professional lives, especially those who have been pioneers in journalism. The plan is to invite a world-class female figure in politics, journalism or literature to be the main speaker of this event.
There are many other activities being prepared, including an extensive program of tours for spouses -- details will be provided later.
San Diego is located on the banks of a large bay of the Pacific Ocean on the southern coast of California, U.S., about 200 miles south of Los Angeles in the extreme Southwest of the continental U.S. and on the border with Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
The area was originally inhabited by the Kumeyaay tribe, which is still present there. Discovered in 1542 by a European expedition under the Spanish flag, its name embodies the Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino, a Spanish cartographer who camped there in 1602 with his team and offered a Mass in honor of San Diego de Alcala. At that time California was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. In 1821 Spain recognized Mexico's independence and assigned to Mexico control over the territory that included the current state of California and the peninsula of Baja California. In 1848, as a result of the Mexican-American War, California was incorporated by the U.S. In 1907, the Navy built a base to supply coal to its vessels in what became the first step toward several U.S. Marine bases. Today the largest naval fleet in the world is based there and it is the home of the Navy’s Space And Naval Warfare Systems Command(SPAWAR).
San Diego’s population is over five million, with Latin Americans being the fastest growing group, both because of fertility rates and the number of legal and undocumented immigrants.
With numerous attractions to offer, Coronado Island and Balboa Park stand out as a place where visitors can spend several days exploring the main street, El Prado, its many museums and, above all, the world-famous San Diego Zoo with its 4,000 animals representing 800 species.
Weather and hotel
Today San Diego is a large and modern commercial and tourist destination, boasting an important hub of the biotechnology industry. There are many attractive beaches and a pleasant climate with temperatures in April ranging between 13 and 18 degrees Celsius (55.4 and 64.4 Fahrenheit).
The San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina is a spectacular building on San Diego’s downtown waterfront situated only ten minutes from San Diego International Airport. The hotel has 1368 rooms and a variety of restaurants offering varied cuisines both indoors, poolside and at the marina. It has two heated indoor pools, six tennis courts, sauna and hydrotherapy pools, a gym, bike rentals and a marina with slips for 446 boats where boats can be rented.
Don’t delay your decision to attend. Make sure of your hotel reservations early and remember to tell us, in addition, if you will attend the IAPA/ASNE Conference on Freedom of Expression at the Institute of the Americas.
Be there in this very important ear for freedom of expression. More than ever, we need your commitment and support for work that never ends and that is fundamental to our democratic life and freedom.
I hope to see you in San Diego,
Julio E, Muñoz, Ph.D.